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FDA Warns Against Eating Certain Types of Tomatoes

By the FDAJune 7, 2008: The Food and Drug Administration has expanded its warning to consumers nationwide that a salmonellosis outbreak has been linked to consumption of certain raw, red tomatoes.

At this time, FDA is advising consumers to limit their consumption of tomatoes to the following types of tomatoes. The following types of tomatoes listed below are NOT likely to be the source of this outbreak.

* cherry tomatoes
* grape tomatoes
* tomatoes sold with the vine still attached
* tomatoes grown at home

Also, FDA recommends consuming raw red plum, raw red Roma, or raw red round tomatoes only if grown and harvested from the following areas that HAVE NOT BEEN ASSOCIATED WITH THE OUTBREAK:

Alabama
Arkansas
California
Georgia
Hawaii
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Minnesota
Mississippi
New York
Nebraska
North Carolina
Ohio
Pennsylvania
South Carolina
Tennessee
Texas
West Virginia

Belgium
Canada
Dominican Republic
Guatemala
Israel
Netherlands
Puerto Rico

Consumers who are unsure of where the tomatoes are from that they have in their home are encouraged to contact the store or place of purchase for that information.

Red Plum/Red Roma tomatoes implicated in outbreakConsumers should also be aware that raw tomatoes are often used in the preparation of fresh salsa, guacamole, and pico de gallo, are part of fillings for tortillas, and are used in other dishes.

Restaurants, grocery stores, and food service operators have been advised by the FDA not to offer for sale or service raw red plum, Roma, or red tomatoes and products made from these types of tomatoes unless they are from one of the areas listed above.

Round red tomato implicated in outbreakSince mid April, there have been 145 reported cases of salmonellosis nationwide caused by Salmonella Saintpaul, an uncommon form of Salmonella. At least 23 hospitalizations have been reported.

FDA traceback review, in addition to production and distribution pattern information, has indicated that tomatoes from the following sources are not associated with the outbreak:

* Alabama
* Arkansas
* California
* Georgia
* Hawaii
* Louisiana
* Maine
* Maryland
* Minnesota
* Mississippi
* New York
* Nebraska
* North Carolina
* Ohio
* Pennsylvania
* South Carolina
* Tennessee
* Texas
* West Virginia
* Belgium
* Canada
* Dominican Republic
* Guatemala
* Israel
* Netherlands
* Puerto Rico

FDA recommends that retailers, restaurateurs, and food service operators offer only fresh and fresh cut red Roma, red plum, and round red tomatoes and food products made from these tomatoes for sale or service from the sources listed above.